The History Of Boxing Day and What It Means Today

A day reserved for Christmas Day leftovers, buffets and finishing off the last of those chocolate boxes, Boxing Day is a UK tradition which is now celebrated in a number of countries, and can also be known as ‘St Stephen’s Day.

A day reserved for Christmas Day leftovers, buffets and finishing off the last of those chocolate boxes, Boxing Day is a UK tradition which is now celebrated in a number of countries, and can also be known as ‘St Stephen’s Day. In other European regions, such as Hungary, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands and Scandinavia, Boxing Day is also celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.

There are quite a few competing theories for the origin of Boxing Day, but the most popular of all is that of the ‘Christmas Box’. In British history, it was custom for tradesmen and servants to collect ‘Christmas boxes’ of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas, as thanks for good service throughout the year. This tradition is first recorded in the diary of Samuel Pepys, way back in 1663. The custom is also linked to an even older British tradition; since the servants of the wealthy would have to wait on their Masters on Christmas Day, they were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.

Churches also played a part in the creation of Boxing Day. Throughout the year, they would take collections from churchgoers and hand it out to the poor at Christmas – on Boxing Day.

Christmas Day is now a football-free zone, but this wasn’t always the case. Back in the good old days, before TV, there would be a full programme of matches on 25 December.

But throughout the 1950s, attitudes toward playing sport on Christmas Day changed and the final Christmas Day football match took place in 1957, leaving Boxing Day as the traditional festive fixture.

Today, Boxing Day is much more associated with Christmas Sales. In the past, Boxing Day sales made it one of the busiest shopping days of the year. While it’s still immensely popular, the growth of big discounts right before Christmas, such as days like Black Friday, some of the limelight is taken from the post Christmas sales, and the retail industry has shifted its targets in recent years to match this.

Some stay home and shop the sales online, while many brave the shops. We know where we’ll be, and if you’re looking for some online Boxing Day sale inspo, may we recommend our friends…


From high-profile trainer releases to exclusive colourways of your favourite kicks, Footasylum offer everything from sportswear giants Nike and Adidas, to future heavyweights like Gym King.

The Couture Club

Offering street style with premium quality at high street prices. Affordable, approachable, and aspirational, The Couture Club is one of our favourite lifestyle brands.


Known for their wide variety of styles and cutting edge designs, their customers love them for their amazing going-out looks and their ability to provide a great fashion experience.

Gym King

Today, this brand is built on ambition and vision for smarter streetwear, bringing a global movement in the form of a family of entrepreneurs, influencers and followers.


The complete HYPE range now covers menswear, womenwear and kidswear and now also includes a lot more than just t-shirts and backpacks.

I Saw It First

I SAW IT FIRST brings you the hottest trends in fashion and pop culture first.


Norte Clothing is a UK-based fashion brand which was created to fulfill the need of creating a trend-focused brand that people feel they can relate to.

Ezili Swim

Designed for the girl with an eye for the finer things in life, the Ezili customer believes style is the ultimate essential and is confident enough to make a statement with her look.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Thinking about
working with us?
let’s play...

    Unit 14 Schoolhouse,

    Third Avenue,

    Trafford Park,

    Manchester, M17 1JE

    email us icon

    Monday to Friday

    8:30am - 5:00pm

    By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

    The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.